Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Learning Curve

So the Islanders have played a total of four games, and the fans are already looking to waive or trade players to bring up some of the players from Bridgeport. My question is why? This is not late November, or December folks. The Islanders record is not bad. What is everybody's concern that changes need to be made now? At this point, only two players are injured (I don't count DP) and Neilsen is returning ahead of schedule. So I ask again, why make changes now after four games?

Welcome to the "Learning Curve" of a rebuilding organization. This is where the team will be competitive throughout the season, but come up short most of the games, and drive fans absolutely crazy. This is a team that players now know what is expected from them and execute the system that the coach has now implemented. What the players need right now are a few wins to boost their own confidence. If we look back to last year, after four games the Islanders had 4 points. This year they have 3. Oh no, one point short!! Let's trade all of the players now!! Please grow up. Let's not forget that the Islanders have played teams that have playoff talent, and yet the Islanders have points in 3 out of the 4 games. They could have been 0-4.

The young players have yet to learn to play a full 60 minutes. If they had, they would have won a few already. They continue to dig holes for themselves, and attempt to get themselves out. Just a few examples of whining I have read: "There is not enough consistency. They seem to play tentative. They're not getting depth scoring. The defense isn't that good."  All of this after 4 games? What did you expect? Okay maybe a win would have been nice. But what fans have to realize is that this young core of players do not know what it takes to win as a team on a nightly basis yet. They need to be on each other, to motivate, and thrive together. The Islanders need to be more disciplined and work for a full 60 minutes and not get laid back because quite frankly, they will get beat every time.

What fans need to learn is this: Before the Islanders can bring up the minor league prospects, the NHL players must first learn what it takes to win games often. That's where the veteran leaders of the team need to step in. They must lead by example and be vocal in the locker room. Once winning becomes the norm, and a tradition again, then the Isles can make moves to bring in the Smith's and Joensuus of the organization so that way winning becomes contageous for everyone in that locker room, and then fans can set standards for their team. The Learning Curve for winning started at the beginning of this season. What fans need to do now is let the curve be bigger than just four games.

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